The role of the Aunts in Gilead is not only to train the Handmaids at the Rachel and Leah Re-education Center, but to sustain the rituals of Gileadean society. The Aunts break the spirits of the Handmaids-in-training in order to guarantee their complacency. According to Lee Briscoe Thompson in Scarlet Letters: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Handmaids are isolated from one another not physically, but mentally by being taught how to betray other women. The Aunts teach that “the only storytelling permitted or rewarded are informing on others or testifying against oneself”. This encouragement for betrayal creates an atmosphere of paranoia and fear amongst Handmaids, thereby, ensuring the Handmaids will obey the rules outlined by the Aunts.
The Aunts tried to scare the Handmaids into believing that because there were no rules to set women straight and no barriers with men, women were treated like gum under a shoe. Again this is just a demonstration of how men set the Aunts to brainwash the Handmaids into believing whatever they
Aunts also show women’s complicity. They reeducated the handmaids by brainwashing them and punishing them. For instance, Aunt Lydia makes excuse to the men by saying that men by nature are aggressive and cannot control their sexual desire. “Men are sex machines, said Aunt Lydia… It is nature’s way. It’s God’s device.
It is striking that complications from unsafe abortion are estimated to result in 13 per cent of maternal deaths worldwide.” The ban of abortion can put many women at risk. The suppression of these services is extremely unfair, and in many ways diminishing the rights of women. Women have been treated as inferior for many generations, with society pushing aside their ideas, allowing them to only act a certain “ladylike” way, and denying them certain, yet important rights. Oscar Wilde, a famous play writer once said “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.” Women want to be understood,
This tactic ruthlessly lead to many deaths in the late 1920’s.Anti abortionist recently used fear to influence people by setting up fake abortion clinics where they spread misinformation and intimidate women out of abortion, nearly 4000 clinics were set up, 5 times more than real abortion clinics in the United States. Atwood shows the motivation of fear in her novel by writing about a baby-obsessed society, who both revel in the joy of birth and kill those who ‘betray’ their
Indeed, the Commander is using Offred to fulfill his sexual desires. He only wants to establish a relationship with her for his personal gain; to make himself feel better. In these situations, the Handmaids are helpless. Even if they could try using their sexuality to alleviate their situation, the misogyny created by Gilead puts the Commander’s needs before theirs. Lastly, the relationships between the Commanders and the Jezebels manifest Gilead’s misogynistic state.
She knew that her life was going to be miserable so one day she sponteantiously kidnapped an Aunt named Elizabeth. An aunt is a woman who teaches the handmaid’s how to be handmaid’s. Moira stole the aunt’s clothes to disguise herself. She set off into the world and hoped that she would be ok. Now she works as prostitute in the ‘club’ for the commanders. Prostitutes are called Jezebels.
To an extent even Moira becomes demoralized after being captured and forced to be a prostitute, which highlights that Gilead is able to transform and crush the spirits of even those who outwardly rebel. Aunt Lydia tells the handmaids to accept their new duty even though it “may not seem ordinary to [them] now,” because “after time it will. It will become ordinary.” Aunt Lydia’s assurance of them only transiently feeling out of place is just one way that Gilead tries to alter the handmaid's mindset
She also had to learn to ignore that her family was taken away from her (Canton 13). Offred falls in love with Nick, who was the Commander’s helper. Living in this society as a Handmaid would not be a life many people would want. As a Handmaid, one must follow strict rules; their thoughts and actions would be almost completely controlled. Handmaids are forced to have sex with a man who does not see them as anything other than a “two-legged womb” (Atwood